Once upon a time we knew how to open our arms to the sun
feel the wind on our cheeks
smell the honeysuckle in the air,
savor the taste of an orange, ripe,
letting the juice run down our chin.
now, our arms are closed, crossed,
our heads are down, chin to chest,
we have carved off our nose
despite our faces, mutilated our bodies
to some pretense of beauty, but our tongues
our tongues, so acid, acrid, spit-bitter
with bile, yes, our forked-tongues
strike, so sharper than a serpent’s tooth.
and we slither under rocks, having now lost our limbs
just as we have escaped the warmth of the sun.